Sea Otter 2016: New bikes, part 1

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Masi

A far cry from the road-racing Masi bikes of the past, the latest models are all about exploring far outside the peloton. The Giramondo is a modern touring bike, built to explore roads that aren’t always smooth sailing. It has five sets of bottle cage mounts and 700×40 tires, though we’re told it can fit a 27.5 mountain bike wheel and tire as well. It is currently available for $1,089 but will climb to $1,199 for the 2017 spec version seen here.

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The Speciale Randonneur is a variation on the previous model, with a steel frame and beautiful painted-to-match fenders, though Masi says they haven’t decided on a color yet. While the previous version was a 700c bike, the next-generation version uses WTB’s new Horizon 27plus road tires. While they measure in at 47 mm wide, they have the same outside circumference that a 700x30c tire has and can likely be retrofitted to many bikes.

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Schwinn

Schwinn is a name that everyone recognizes as a bicycle, but only holds a fraction of the prestige that it used to. While it still sells bikes through big box stores, it is moving slowly up-market and selling through select bike shops. Looking good is a new road bike with some interesting features.

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The Schwinn Vantage RX1 has the “Smooth Ride Tech” design that Schwinn debuted last year. Essentially a rubberized elastomer goes between the seat tube and the seatstay junction, providing a small amount of vibration absorption.

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Even the stem has an elastomer to absorb harsh road vibrations. You can’t really feel it move while riding, though there will be two durometers that customers can pick from. It is also the most expensive bike in the Schwinn lineup at $1,599 with SRAM Rival 1. There is a also a Shimano Sora version that will sell for $999.

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Raleigh

Looking like more fun than an espresso-fueled puppy is the new Stuntman, with massive 29-inch mountain bike wheels for crushing the nastiest roads you can throw at it, especially when you activate the included dropper seatpost. Designed specifically for a single chainring, it will come equipped a SRAM wide-range drivetrain when it goes on sale this fall. While it is pictured here with a current model, the production version will also feature an all-new Clement tire spec. Let’s hope they are gumwalls! Raleigh says it will follow up with a whole series of bikes based on the Stuntman including sub-$1,000 versions with steel forks.

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Breezer

Joe Breeze may get a lot of (deserved) credit for his contribution to mountain bikes, but before he built his first clunker he was building custom road bikes. The new Inversion model is a thoroughly modern road bike with thru-axles, room for bigger tires and flat-mount disc brakes. It uses a special steel tubeset that is heat-treated after it has been welded together for better finish quality. The Shimano Ultegra version pictured here will sell for about $2,000 when it goes on sale this fall and a Shimano 105 version should be around $1,500.

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Slim Chance

Finally, if you know anything about mountain bikes you know the name Fat Chance. But what isn’t as widely known is that Mountain Bike Hall of Famer Chris Chance also built road bikes under the Slim Chance moniker. Now they’re back with a high-end steel frame that’s made in America and offers tons of custom options. Each is made-to-order and built to spec, starting at $2,295. And yes, there is a segmented steel fork option coming soon.

 

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